Democrats and Republicans appear to be moving toward an agreement on border security that would avert another partial government shutdown.
Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., said the latest moves from Democrats, who had flatly refused to negotiate, were “much more reasonable.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., said he had spoken with the president and was waiting to see what would develop.
Democrat opposition to President Trump’s request for $5.7 billion in funding for a border barrier triggered the 35-day partial shutdown of the government.
Democrats previously have supported border-wall funding.
But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., refused to negotiate, snarking at one point that she would offer $1 for a border wall.
Trump agreed to a temporary resolution with a deadline of Feb. 15.
The Washington Examiner reported negotiators were “closing in on a possible border security agreement.”
The report said the deal likely will include “some kind of fencing” as well as new technology and more agents.
“There’s no mention of a wall in the deal, per orders of Democratic leaders who vehemently oppose it,” the report said.
Trump has said he doesn’t care what the Democrats like to call it, a wall or a fence, but funding is required to provide that security.
The report said the main disagreement appears to be how much money to allocate for “barriers” and what they would look like.
Pelosi is on record calling a border wall an “immorality.”
The range appears to be from $1.6 billion, which was approved earlier, to the $5.7 billion Trump has requested.
Meanwhile, the Daily Caller reported White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley has said that if Congress can’t come up with a reasonable response there will be another shutdown.
“We’re on the verge of a government shutdown again because Democrats won’t come to the table to have a conversation about securing the country,” Gidley said in light of the Feb. 15 deadline.
But Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., confirmed “both sides are moving along.”
The president also has the option of declaring a national emergency and ordering the wall construction.
Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said this week, “If Congress won’t participate or won’t go along, we’ll figure out a way to do it with executive authority.”